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March 13 2013

22:06

Pope Francis: the humble pontiff with practical approach to poverty | World news | guardian.co.uk

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has become the Catholic church’s 266th pope, is the choice of humility, a Jesuit intellectual who travels by bus and has a practical approach to poverty: when he was appointed a cardinal, Bergoglio persuaded hundreds of Argentinians not to fly to Rome to celebrate with him but instead to give the money they would have spent on plane tickets to the poor. …

… Much is made of his humility: he gave up the grandiose setting of the cardinal’s residence in the Argentine capital for the trappings of a small apartment, and rejected the notion of a chauffeur driven car for public transport.

Bergoglio, who will take the name Francis as pope, was born in December 1936, one of five children of an Italian railway worker. He reportedly had a lung removed while a teenager, due to an infection. He taught literature and psychology in Argentina before being ordained in 1969. He was created a cardinal by John Paul II on 21 February 2001.

Unlike other cardinals, he has been untarnished by the various scandals rocking the Catholic church, and is thought to want to make reform of the Curia a priority. He was a fierce opponent of Argentina’s decision to legalise gay marriage in 2010, arguing children need to have the right to be raised and educated by a father and a mother. But he takes a slightly more pragmatic view on contraception, believing that it can be permissible to prevent the spread of disease. He is ecumenical, believing in interfaith dialogue.

In 2009 Bergoglio made headlines when he criticised the government of Ernesto Kirchner, husband of current Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, claiming it was “immoral, illegitimate and unjust” to allow inequality in the country to grow. “Rather than preventing that, it seems they have opted for making inequalities even greater,” he said. “Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that creates huge inequalities,” he said at the time.

Tags: catholic
Reposted bysiriusminerva siriusminerva
06:41

Papal conclave: anti-mafia police raid offices in diocese of frontrunner | World news | guardian.co.uk

Roman Catholic cardinals have been urged to overcome divisions at a special mass ahead of the papal conclave, just hours after anti-mafia investigators carried out a string of raids in the diocese of the leading candidate.

In a homily before thousands of pilgrims and the most senior figures in the church, Angelo Sodano, the dean of the college of cardinals, made a last-ditch attempt to banish infighting, as he extolled the virtues of unity amid diversity.

But even as preparations for the mass were being made, Cardinal Angelo Scola, the archbishop of Milan – and reportedly the hot favourite to be the next pope – suffered a blow.

Anti-mafia detectives swooped on homes, offices, clinics and hospitals in Lombardy, the region around Milan, and elsewhere. A statement said the dawn raids were part of an investigation into “corruption linked to tenders by, and supplies to, hospitals”.

Healthcare in Lombardy is the principal responsibility of the regional administration, which for the past 18 years has been run by Roberto Formigoni, a childhood friend of Scola and the leading political representative of the Communion and Liberation fellowship. Until recently, Scola was seen as the conservative group’s most distinguished ecclesiastical spokesman.

But he has progressively loosened his ties to Communion and Liberation, and in early 2012 publicly rebuked the movement after its leader was found to have written to Pope Benedict, implicitly criticising the cardinal’s liberal predecessors in the Milan archdiocese.

The regional administration headed by Formigoni – a member of Silvio Berlusconi’s party – collapsed last October amid a welter of accusations regarding alleged corruption and misconduct. The final blow came when one of his regional ministers was arrested, accused of buying votes from the ‘Ndrangheta, the Calabrian mafia.

Formigoni himself is a formal suspect in an investigation into corruption and conspiracy. He denies the accusations. …

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20:53
Reposted byLegendaryy Legendaryy

February 18 2013

22:05
6416 ce6d 500

dl-44:

On Saturday, the pope said this:

“Let us ask the Lord to help us see through the superficial glitter of this season”

While wearing this

(via def shepherd: Great Moments In Juxtaposition: Pope Condemns ‘Superficial Glitter’)

Prada Boy

Reposted bywonkowtfpanteraZombieGigolobaumbaumbaum

February 12 2013

01:14

January 21 2013

23:50
5418 e1b0

Papacy used offshore tax havens to create £500m international portfolio, featuring real estate in UK, France and Switzerland

Few passing London tourists would ever guess that the premises of Bulgari, the upmarket jewellers in New Bond Street, had anything to do with the pope. Nor indeed the nearby headquarters of the wealthy investment bank Altium Capital, on the corner of St James’s Square and Pall Mall.

But these office blocks in one of London’s most expensive districts are part of a surprising secret commercial property empire owned by the Vatican.

Behind a disguised offshore company structure, the church’s international portfolio has been built up over the years, using cash originally handed over by Mussolini in return for papal recognition of the Italian fascist regime in 1929.

Since then the international value of Mussolini’s nest-egg has mounted until it now exceeds £500m. In 2006, at the height of the recent property bubble, the Vatican spent £15m of those funds to buy 30 St James’s Square. Other UK properties are at 168 New Bond Street and in the city of Coventry. It also owns blocks of flats in Paris and Switzerland.

The surprising aspect for some will be the lengths to which the Vatican has gone to preserve secrecy about the Mussolini millions. The St James’s Square office block was bought by a company called British Grolux Investments Ltd, which also holds the other UK properties. Published registers at Companies House do not disclose the company’s true ownership, nor make any mention of the Vatican. …

… The Mussolini money was dramatically important to the Vatican’s finances. John Pollard, a Cambridge historian, says in Money and the Rise of the Modern Papacy: “The papacy was now financially secure. It would never be poor again.” …

… The Mussolini investments in Britain are currently controlled, along with its other European holdings and a currency trading arm, by a papal official in Rome, Paolo Mennini, who is in effect the pope’s merchant banker. Mennini heads a special unit inside the Vatican called the extraordinary division of APSA – Amministrazione del Patrimonio della Sede Apostolica – which handles the so-called “patrimony of the Holy See”.

According to a report last year from the Council of Europe, which surveyed the Vatican’s financial controls, the assets of Mennini’s special unit now exceed €680m (£570m).

While secrecy about the Fascist origins of the papacy’s wealth might have been understandable in wartime, what is less clear is why the Vatican subsequently continued to maintain secrecy about its holdings in Britain, even after its financial structure was reorganised in 1999.

The Guardian asked the Vatican’s representative in London, the papal nuncio, archbishop Antonio Mennini, why the papacy continued with such secrecy over the identity of its property investments in London. We also asked what the pope spent the income on. True to its tradition of silence on the subject, the Roman Catholic church’s spokesman said that the nuncio had no comment.

Via How the Vatican built a secret property empire using Mussolini’s millions | World news | The Guardian

Reposted bywtfpanteralevune

June 12 2012

MerelyGifted
19:10
MerelyGifted
18:47
MerelyGifted
18:21

May 27 2012

MerelyGifted
05:53

March 27 2012

MerelyGifted
02:00
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